November 2014 brought an exciting new development for me, when I joined Ceol Collective, a new collaborative website bringing the best of music and culture in Ireland to a wider audience. The team consists of a group of passionate music lovers, poets, musicians, videographers and photographers – and little old me! The launch gig in Abner Browns marked a few firsts for me – first time seeing Marcas Carcas and the rather brilliant Ray Scully, first time at a gig in the awesome Abner Browns and my first time writing what I would call a “proper” gig review.
Gigaholic has always just been my ramblings about gigs I’ve gone to, so to write reviews that would actually be out there in the world was a bit intimidating, but it was also an exciting opportunity to see acts that I might not get to see otherwise, and to review new albums. A lot of my Gigaholic posts from now on will include a link to the review I’ve written for Ceol Collective, just so that all my scribblings are kept together!
This gig was originally reviewed for Ceol Collective which has now ceased operations. The review that was published is preserved for posterity here!
Ceol Collective celebrated the launch of www.ceolcollective.com with an intimate gig in Abner Brown’s Barbership on Saturday 22nd November. Ceol Collective’s collaborative website will be a platform showcasing new and exciting musicians, poets, performers and writers, so Ailie Blunnie’s, Markas Carcas’ and Ray Scully’s performances to a packed out venue were the perfect way to mark its launch. While life got in the way of me arriving in time for Ailie Blunny’s set (which I’m assured was great), Markas Carcas and Ray Scully were definitely impressive and launched the site with style.
Markas Carcas and band gave a foot-stomping performance, veering from traditional rhythm/roots to blues, and hitting most genres in between! While at times I felt that the songs were a little too crammed with influences, it was a finessed performance showcasing the significant skills of the musicians involved. “Mississippi Wine” was a personal favourite and makes me intrigued to hear the album they’re in the process of recording.
The highlight of the night was Ray Scully who followed Marcus Carcas with an endearingly charming performance. Having launched his album “Let’s Blow This Town Tonight” the previous weekend, Ray showcased his beautifully crafted music to a thrilled crowd. From “I Found a Dollar Bill” to “Let’s Blow This Town Tonight”, Ray’s blues/rock sound is deceptively polished for someone who has just released their debut album! The highlight for me was “I Won’t Let You Fade”, dedicated to his grandfather. Ray Scully is definitely one to watch – check out his album here (https://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/lets-blow-this-town-tonight/id928545216).
A small word of mention has to go to Abner Brown’s Barbershop for being the perfect venue for the gig – it really is an amazing, alternative venue for live music that allows the crowd to get up close and personal with the acts that are performing.
This gig highlighted the fortuitous range of music that is on offer in Ireland at the moment, and was an exciting harbinger of what Anto, Peter and all at the Ceol Collective are going to have coming up for their readers in the coming weeks and months.